Category Archives:

fisheries

Mermaids do not exist, and five other important things people should, but do not, know about the ocean

fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, Science, SustainabilityJune 5, 2012

Last week, Animal Planet aired a fictional mockumentary about mermaids. From an educational perspective, it was a disaster that was rightfully described as “the rotting carcass of science television” by Brian Switek. As Dr. M on Deep Sea News pointed out, one of the troubling results of this TV special was the discovery that some […]

Shark fin bans: A storify of this week’s twitter discussion

Conservation, fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharksMay 8, 2012

Earlier this week, I asked my twitter followers what they thought about shark fin bans, which prompted a long and stimulating discussion. What follows is my first attempt at “Storify”, shared in the hopes that the discussion can continue here. As I’ve said before, I’m not a big supporter of shark fin bans because they […]

Swordfish, certifications, and sustainable seafood

fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharksMay 1, 2012

Jordan Nikoloyuk is the Sustainable Fisheries Coordinator of the Ecology Action Centre, a membership-based community environmental organization based in Nova Scotia, Canada. The Marine Issues Committee of the EAC was founded in 1995 after the collapse of the Atlantic Canadian groundfish stocks and works towards conserving and protecting marine ecosystems and maintaining sustainable fisheries and vibrant coastal […]

How severe are shark population decreases, and how do we know?

Conservation, fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharksApril 19, 2012

John Shepherd once said that counting fish is like counting trees, except that fish move and you can’t see them because they’re underwater. This is true with sharks as well. It’s basically impossible to know how many sharks there are. Fortunately, a variety of methods exist that can be used to determine population trends. In […]

Bad news for whale sharks: The world’s largest fish are being killed for bait and billboards

fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharksApril 5, 2012

The world’s largest shark eats only plankton, couldn’t bite a human if it wanted to, and is one of the few sharks that could be reasonably described as beautiful. Globally, SCUBA divers pay an estimated $50 million each year for the chance to swim with these incredible fish. Their long migrations through international waters makes […]

Good intentions and negative transfer effects: The California swordfish fishery

Conservation, fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceMarch 13, 2012

A press release circulating on Twitter, which claims that a “deadly expansion” of a California fishery will negatively affect critically endangered leatherback sea turtles, has been making waves in the marine conservation and fisheries communities, inspiring a series of interesting discussions. Is it better to buy US-caught seafood with some bycatch than foreign-caught seafood from fleets with […]

Florida angler catches (and likely kills) Endangered great hammerhead shark

Conservation, fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharksFebruary 13, 2012

Update: The angler who originally caught the shark has responded. Please see below. On February 5th, while standing on a beach in Miami,  a fisherman caught a 14 foot great hammerhead shark. According to his account, “we had it beached within an hour of hooking it. The fish weighed too much her girth was huge. Just the […]

What hybrid sharks mean (and don’t mean) for climate change and evolution: fact-checking the media coverage

Conservation, fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharksJanuary 6, 2012

Last week, a team of 10 Australian scientists announced that they had found the world’s first “shark hybrids”, offspring of individuals from two different shark species which had interbred. During a routine survey of Australian marine life, 57 sharks were found that physically resembled one species of shark, but had genetic markers inconsistent with that species. […]

The top 10 shark conservation stories of 2011

Conservation, fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharksDecember 28, 2011

2011 was a relatively good year for sharks and rays. Presented below, in no particular order, are ten important shark conservation stories from the past year. 1. Shark sanctuaries. The world gained several new shark sanctuaries, areas where shark fishing is banned, in 2011. Nations creating new shark sanctuaries include Honduras (~92,000 square miles), the […]

National Marine Fisheries Service rejects petition to list 4 skate species under Endangered Species Act

Conservation, fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceDecember 27, 2011

Last August, two petitions were sent to the National Marine Fisheries Service from three conservation organizations (the Animal Welfare Institute, WildEarth Guardians and Friends of Animals). The petitions (available in their entirety here) requested that four species of skate be listed as “threatened” or “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act, and requested that critical habitat for these species […]

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